Creating international standards in space will be the topic of the seventh annual plenary session of a subcommittee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to be held May 12-16 in Redondo Beach, CA.

Taking place in a different host country each year, this year's session meets in the U.S. at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach & Marina Hotel. More than 10 nations, including China, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Russia, Israel and the U.S., are planning to attend this year's event.

The group, known as the ISO Subcommittee for Space Systems and Operations, is working on interface standards for fostering international cooperation and allowing commerce in space to flourish.

Goals include the development of standards that will increase safety and lower the cost of space systems by creating international commonality, including the size, electronics and communications of components for satellites and rocket launchers.

On Monday through Wednesday, May 12-14, more than 100 participants, an estimated 80 percent of them from foreign nations, will meet in closed working groups to discuss such topics as: design, engineering and production; interfaces, integration and testing; operations and ground support; the space environment; and program management.

On Thursday and Friday, May 15-16, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., open plenary sessions will feature working group reports and discussion about unresolved issues that have emerged during the week. All sessions will be conducted in English. Industry and government representatives, along with interested members of the public, are invited to observe the proceedings on these two days only.

Among the companies, associations and agencies represented in the U.S. delegation are McDonnell Douglas, Hughes, Lockheed Martin, Loral, Rockwell, TRW, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Transportation.

The group works under the auspices of the Geneva-based ISO, in cooperation with the AIAA, which serves as the subcommittee's secretariat. Dr. Macgregor Reid, technical executive assistant to the director at JPL, chairs the subcommittee.

Further information is available by calling Reid at (818) 354-3402.

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